How do you feel when you’re at home with your family? Are there any warning signs to show that things aren’t quite right?
Cherished Muslimah focuses on empowerment for women and part of that involves making sure that we take a zero-tolerance approach to physical abuse and control. We are committed to Full Respect Living - making sure we are respectful towards others at all times, and making sure we stand up to disrespect when someone respects us.
You can put down boundaries, but if they are not respected, you will need support to help you. You may find you are in an abusive relationship. You may feel scared, embarrassed, anxious. This is okay. It is normal to feel like this. But it may be likely that you are in an abnormal situation. Please know that it is not okay or normal to be in an abusive relationship, whether that person is your spouse, parent, child, sibling, friend or even teacher. In order for things to change, you will need help.
If you feel unsure if you are in an abusive situation, please seek guidance. Speak to your doctor or a professional who can help you. Coaches and therapists can guide you in the right direction. If you need to get more clarity on your situation and how to move forward, book a free Discovery Call with me.
Here are some links on how to find out more and get support if you need extra support. But, if you are in immediate danger of physical violence, call the police.
Islam & Domestic Violence
(from The Peaceful Families Project - United States:)
Here are some helpful information sheets on Domestic Violence and what Islam says about abuse.
- What defines Domestic Violence - find out more here
- Domestic Survivors Toolkit - (plus a pdf to download) a helpful guide to help you to identify what domestic violence is, the Islamic view, safety planning, and more.
Refuge - Violence Against Women
(from Refuge UK:)
Violence against women and girls (also called ‘gender-based violence’) is rooted in inequality between the sexes; it is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men against women. It takes many different forms including domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and modern slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour’ violence. No matter what your experience of gender-based violence, Refuge is here to support you.
Domestic violence describes any violence or abuse that is used by someone to control or obtain power over their partner. It can include physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, emotional and financial abuse. If you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of how your partner will react, you are being abused.
Many women experience domestic violence and other forms of abuse without ever being physically abused. Remember: non-physical forms of abuse can be as destructive and as undermining as physical violence.
Whilst the vast majority of those who experience domestic violence – and all forms of gender-based violence – are women, it can affect anyone.
All forms of gender-based violence are against the law.
Are you planning to leave your abuser? Find out more here.
Find out more here about Refuge's support for women in abusive relationships.
Am I in an abusive relationship?
Everyone has arguments, and everyone disagrees with their partners, family members and others close to them from time to time. And we all do things at times that we regret, and which cause unhappiness to those we care about. But if this begins to form a consistent pattern, then it is an indication of domestic violence and abuse.
The answers to the questions on this Questionnaire on Women's Aid may help you to see if you may be in an abusive relationship.
How Can I Help My Children?
(From Women's Aid:)
If you’re a survivor with children you have probably tried to shield them from the abuse as much as possible.
But talking to children about what’s happening can help them to feel less powerless, confused and angry. Below is some advice to help you. If you have any concerns or worries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Women’s Aid.
Visit Women's Aid to find out how you can help your children through this difficult time.
Young Person’s Guide to Keeping Children Safe
If you are a young adult or have a child who is a young adult and is in an abusive environment,
Young Person’s Guide to Keeping Children Safe, Sponsored by the Department for Education provides answers.
Young People - MeeToo Support App
The MeeToo app allows you to talk anonymously about difficult things with other people of a similar age or experience. You can get help with your problems or use your experiences to help others. The app is a safe space where all posts and replies are checked before going live so there is no harassment, bullying or grooming.
MeeToo is aimed at young people aged 11-25. Users under the age of 18 share posts with other users who are two years above and below the young persons date of birth. Users aged 18+ see posts from adults of any age. This means that the posts that a twelve-year-old sees will be very different to the posts that a twenty-year-old sees.
Have you or your child been physically abused?
(from the NSCPP - United Kingdom:)
Physical abuse is when someone hurts or harms a child or young person on purpose. It's important to remember that physical abuse is any way of intentionally causing physical harm to a child or young person. It also includes making up the symptoms of an illness or causing a child to become unwell. To find out more about the signs, risks, and how to get support, visit the NSPCC's page on Physical Abuse here.
Are you in a toxic controlling relationship?
Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour.
How do you know if this is happening to you?
Check out this page on Women's Aid on coercive control.
Do you feel anxious when threatened (or even when you are not)?
It is normal to feel worried and scared, even angry when we feel threatened, these feelings protect us and let us know that we may be in danger. Yet, if these feelings come up for you regularly, then you may be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic life-threatening event or serious injury. It’s normal to have these emotions, along with upsetting memories, feeling on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event, but if symptoms last more than a few months and interfere with your day-to-day life, it may be PTSD. PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.
To find out more about PTSD and how you can get help, visit PTSD UK:
Do you make excuses for abusive behaviour?
Stockholm syndrome is commonly linked to high profile kidnappings and hostage situations. Aside from famous crime cases, regular people may also develop this psychological condition in response to various types of trauma.
While Stockholm syndrome is commonly associated with a hostage or kidnapping situation, it can actually apply to several other circumstances and relationships.
Stockholm syndrome may also arise in these situations
- Abusive relationships.
Researchhas shown that abused individuals may develop emotional attachments to their abusers. Sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as incest, can last for years. Over this time, a person may develop positive feelings or sympathy for the person abusing them.
- Child abuse. Abusers frequently threaten their victims with harm, even death. Victims may try to avoid upsetting their abuser by being compliant. Abusers may also show kindness that could be perceived as a genuine feeling. This may further confuse the child and lead to them not understanding the negative nature of the relationship.
To find out more about Stockholm Syndrome, check out this Healthline page.
Are you a compulsive fixer/rescuer?
If you find yourself fixing, recusing or caretaking, then you may be a codependent - when the wellbeing of others is more important to you than your own wellbeing. You may even be enabling the person you are codependent on.
Enabling is a form of destructive helping. Not only does it harm you, but it harms the person you are helping, by helping them to continue destructive behaviour and not to face the consequences of their behaviour.
Check out Melody Beattie's work on codependency, and start working on getting your own needs met instead of reducing others.
Keep A Record of Abuse
(From Refuge UK:)
Keep a record: Think about ways you can gather evidence of your partner’s behaviour safely. Make notes of abusive incidents, including times, dates, names and details of how it made you feel. Tell your GP, so they have a record of the abuse. Save any abusive messages. These can be used as evidence at a later date. However, make sure they aren’t stored anywhere (physically, or digitally) where your partner might find them. You can find out more about the ways your partner might use technology to abuse you here.
Cover Your Tracks Online
If you're worried someone might see you have visited this page, the Women's Aid website tells you how to cover your tracks online.
You can find out more about the ways your partner might use technology to abuse you here.
Making a safety plan
A personal safety plan is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children. It helps you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave.
You can’t stop your partner’s violence and abuse – only he can do that. But there are things you can do to increase your own and your children’s safety. You’re probably already doing some things to protect yourself and your children – for example, there may be a pattern to the violence which may enable you to plan ahead to increase your safety.
Get a Protective Injunction
(National Centre for Domestic Violence:)
The National Centre for Domestic Violence award-winning free service allows anyone who has recently suffered domestic abuse or violence to apply for an emergency court injunction.*
An injunction is a powerful court order (non-molestation order) that prohibits an abuser from using or threatening violence against you, or harassing, pestering or intimidating you. If the order is breached, the police can then arrest that person immediately.
They are particularly useful when, having responded to your 999 phone call, the police find little evidence that warrants the arrest for a criminal offence. Sadly the police’s hands can be tied by the high burden of proof of the criminal law that often prevents them from being able to remove the abuser right then. An injunction allows for this arrest to take place much easier, however, so you have the confidence and peace of mind to know the legal system is on your side.
Complete the details in this form for either yourself or another person with their permission to start the process of obtaining a protective injunction. Change starts today.
This form will go directly to our First Steps Team who will call you or the person you are referring as soon as possible. If you are police officer or DA agency we will keep you updated as to its progress.
Find a Refuge
(From Women's Aid:)
A refuge is a safe house where women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse can stay free from fear. Any woman who needs to escape from domestic abuse can go into a refuge at any time. It does not matter whether or not you are married to or living with your abuser, or whether or not you have children.
Find out more about how you can find a refuge here.
The Survivor's Handbook
The Survivor’s Handbook provides practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse, with simple guidance on every aspect of seeking support.
(from Counselling Directory:)
In 2005, sisters Aimi and Emma launched Counselling Directory. They had both experienced mental health issues when they were at school and university and knew how it felt to be overwhelmed and lacking guidance. They wanted to use their own experiences to help others find help from counsellors and therapists.
Find counsellors and therapists in the UK in the Counselling Directory here.
The Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network
The Counselling Directory lists professional, qualified and trained Muslim Counsellors, Psychotherapists & Psychologists, who work privately.
All are registered with a professional body/association.
Members of the public can contact a counsellor directly, via the telephone number or email address listed on the practitioner's profile.
The Directory lists practitioners A to Z by location.
To find someone Muslim in the UK that can help you, check out The Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network.
Domestic Abuse Directory
Women’s Aid’s directory contains details of local, regional and national services specialising in violence against women and girls including domestic abuse, sexual violence, forced marriage and stalking/harassment.
Their directory is powered by Routes to Support, which has provided detailed information about services since 2003. This means it is constantly updated by the services listed and contains a comprehensive listing of services throughout the UK.
Access the Domestic Abuse Directory here.
(links from the NSPCC & NHS UK:)
- in an emergency, call 999
- talk to a doctor, health visitor or midwife
- anyone can call Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) for forced marriage and honour crimes. You can also call 020 7008 0151 to speak to the GOV.UK Forced Marriage Unit
If you're an adult experiencing physical abuse, there are organisations that can help.
0300 003 0396
You can talk to Relate about your relationship, including issues around physical abuse.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
A 24-hour free helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge (access live chat Mon-Fri 3-10pm). The staff will offer confidential, non-judgemental information and support.
- Men's Advice Line
0808 801 0327 email [email protected]
Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Men can also call ManKind on 0182 3334 244 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
For children and young people
We understand how difficult it is for children to talk about physical abuse. Whether it's happening now or happened in the past, Childline can be contacted 24/7. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and confidential. Children can also contact Childline online.
Childline has information and advice for children and young people about physical abuse, including why it happens and what they can do.
Help if you're worried about your behaviour
If you are, or think you might be, physically abusing a member of your family, there's help available.
Respect offers information, advice and support to perpetrators of abuse.
- Call Respect – People living in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland can call for free on 0808 802 4040 (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm).
- Email Respect – You can email Respect on [email protected]. They aim to reply to emails within two working days.
- Chat online – Respect have a webchat service available on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-4pm.
May Allah grant you safety and wellbeing. Ameen.
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